Hello and welcome back to college after your work experience, I hope you all learnt a lot from a week at work!
You will soon be receiving your results and feedback from your recent end of year exams and its time to have a long think about how you did and what your next steps to improve are. There were some outstanding results, with many of you achieving your target grades or above, really very well done! However there are still some of you who do not realise the amount of work, time and preparation you need to put into examinations. You will all receive individual next step feedback from your two exams and you need to consider this carefully.
There were some common problems amongst all the groups, these were:
– Missing out questions involving labelling figures, completing graphs or charts. Many of you seemed to have skipped over questions such as drawing the hydrograph line, or completing the line graph in a population question. Just because there isn’t a gap to write in text doesn’t mean you don’t have to do anything and you must always read every single word on the exam paper!
– Case studies and case study detail. You must know all of your case studies for each topic, and I don’t just mean the name of it! The exam can ask you to directly use a case study or you may find using a case study helpful in an answer even if they do not directly ask. Some of you only named case studies but wrote generic comments about it, named incorrect case studies or even missed them out even when asked for in the exam question. You have to know the specific detail on the case study and make sure what you write isn’t ‘generic’ (could apply anywhere).
– Explaining how a landform is created (processes). A lot of you found it hard to describe the formation of drumlins and gorges (waterfalls). This is a case of revision and learning it, if you didn’t revise drumlins it is unlikely you are going to remember this so far after learning it. Maybe you even missed the lesson? Stick to your revision sheet, you will find a revision sheet for every topic you study on this website. Create a step by step guide to the landform formation and ensure you are using the correct processes (key words). Learn it ! Read, cover, write. Yes it takes time and you have a lot to cover for UNIT 1, better get started then.
-Exam technique: Never write a list!. Command words need to be read very carefully, for example if it says describe, you need to describe in detail, not just write a list. Avoid lists at all costs, mark schemes sometimes actually specify you cannot get more than half marks if you list. Don’t explain when its not asked for, its a waste of valuable exam time. Also check out the space the examiner has left you to write your answer, its a pretty good indication about how much you are expected to write. If you write too much, are you wasting time? or too little, have you misread the question? or not included enough detail. Missing out questions completely? unacceptable – If you have prepared for the exam well you should never leave a gap, even if it was hard, give it a go. Be resilient, you’ve put the work in, don’t let anything ruin your chances.
Your teacher will go through other issues that have arisen as a result of the exam. The overall determinant to success appears to have been good revision and preparation and knowing what to expect in the exam and how to follow the exam instructions. If you were not sure what question to answer on the unit 1 exam, you had most definitely not prepared yourself. Had you have revised Restless Earth, Water on the land and Ice on the land and read the exam instructions to answer only 3 questions- there would be no queries over which ones to do. The post here told everyone what to do and it was emailed out before, so no excuses.
You put the time in, you will get the grades out.
We will be providing an exam technique booklet and some revision questions for your to keep in touch with geography over the summer holidays (thanks Miss, I know, its great). These will appear here soon.
Overall well done, I hope we can all take our learning points from these exams forward to move onto or over our target grades.